BINYUMIN ORENSHTEYN (BENJAMIN ORENSTEIN) (November 23, 1914-December 2, 1974)
Born in Warsaw, he graduated from a Tarbut school and secular high school, and he studied in Germany and Canada. During WWII, he lived under the Nazis in Otvotsk, then in the Katshev Concentration Camp, on the “Aryan” side of Warsaw, then in the small ghetto in Tshenstokhov (Czestochowa) and later in a German concentration camp in Tshenstokhov: HASAG [a private German company, Hugo Schneider Aktiengesellschaft-Mentalwarenfabrik, that used camp inmates for arms production]. He was transported to Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen where he lived to see liberation. At the end of 1948 he came to Canada. His first published work appeared in 1930, a piece of reportage in the Warsaw paper, Folks-tsaytung (People’s news). He published historical treatises in Unzer ekspres (Our express) in Warsaw, and in a series of provincial newspapers. He served on the editorial board of Unzer vort (Our word), 1946-1948, in Germany, and contributed to Vidershtand (Resistance), Ibergang (Transition), A heym (A home), Landsberger lager-tsaytung (Landsberg Camp news), and Yidishe bilder (Jewish images)—all in Germany. From 1949 he was publishing reviews and historical articles in Keneder odler (Canadian eagle), Der yidisher zhurnal (The Jewish journal) in Montreal, Amerikaner (American), and Tog (Day). Among his writings: Khurbm tshenstokhov (The holocaust in Tshenstokhov), composed in Romanized script (Munich, 1948), 464 pp.; Khurbm otvotsk, falenits, kartshev (The holocaust in Otvotsk, Falenits, and Kartshev) (Bamberg, 1948), 92 pp.; Virklekhkeyt, problemen fun yidishn kamf un umkum (Reality, problems of the Jewish struggle and destruction) (Bamberg, 1948), 184 pp. (with pictures); Der umkum un vidershtand fun a yidisher shtot, tshenstokhov (The destruction and resistance of a Jewish city, Tshenstokhov) (Montreal, 1949), 18 pp. Orenstein’s oratory, Khamisha-eser be-shabbat (Twenty-five on Shabbat), was performed by the women’s pioneer club in Montreal. He edited: Unzer yortsayt, oysgabe gevidmet dem umkum fun tshenstokhover yidntum, 1942-1948 (Our yortsayt, edition dedicated to the destruction of Tshenstokhov Jewry, 1942-1948), unique printing (Munich, 1948); Der varshever landsman (The Warsaw fellow native), single printing of an illustrated journal (Bamberg, 1948); Dos lebn un shafn fun dr. filip fridman (The life and work of Dr. Philip Friedman) (Montreal, 1962), 54 pp.; Etishe problemen bay yidn in der natsi-epokhe (Ethical issues for Jews in the Nazi period) (Montreal, 1964), 42 pp.; Tshenstokhover landsmanshaft in montreol (Czestochowa local association in Montreal) (Montreal, 1966), 349 pp. In 1952 he received an award from the World Jewish Congress for his study, Sotsyale problemen bay yidn in der natsi-epokhe (Social problems of the Jewish people in the Nazi epoch). He used the pen names: Noyekh Sarna and Anatol. He died in Montreal.
Sources: Dr. Philip Friedman and Dr. Ts. Kantor, in Undzer yortsayt (Munich, 1948); M. Ginzburg, in Keneder odler (December 5, 1948).